Saturday, June 05, 2021

Reflections and Birds

 These are the two main reasons we spend time in St. Vrain State Park in the summer.  Established in 1965, the park has 87campsites on 50 acres of land and 80 acres of water.

In 1958 the Colorado Department of Transportation purchased land along the St. Vrain River to mine for gravel needed to develop highway 87 into an interstate highway. That required lots of gravel.  The gravel pits were turned over to the State Parks Department for recreation.

Today the park has 87 campsites.  By 2005, trees had been planted in the park to augment the large cottonwood trees that grew along the St. Vrain. It is the winter home of bald eagles and hosts the largest blue heron rookery in the state.  It also has the only known nesting site of Great Egrets in Colorado. White pelicans and osprey also find seasonal homes at St. Vrain.

There are 14 ponds in the park, accounting for the reflections.

This is one of the osprey in a dead tree.

A nesting platform for bald eagles.

Blue heron are often difficult to photograph, but here we saw them numerous times during our stay.

This is some kind of snake—possibly a bull snake—swimming in one of the ponds.  Yuk!

Cormorants resting on a log.

American white pelicans.

One day we saw some turtles.

This osprey seemed to be posing for us.

Then it flew away.

So did this heron.

This is a red-winged black bird.  My dad grew up in Illinois and this was a bird he knew from there and often pointed them out when we saw them.

I will take photos of reflections in ponds and rivers, wherever I find them.  At St. Vrain, I am never disappointed.

We also have great views of snow-capped mountains along the Front Range of the Rockies.  

When they were developing this park, we looked at a treeless hill with some campground hookups. We asked, why would anyone camp there?  Today, you can see why we love it.


  1. We have a pond with blue gill and catfish. The Blue Herons love to fish there. A few days ago we watched one standing near the shore as he caught his breakfast. Wish I could have taken a picture.

  2. Bird watching is so interesting.